ArtWalk

Global Moose

Global Moose

Fraser Paterson
b.1966

Global Moose
  • Fibreglass, paint
  • 2000
  • 3 m x 0.6 m x 2.4 m
  • 222 Bremner Boulevard, MTCC South Building, Toronto

About the artwork

Moose in the City was a public art display in the year 2000 in Toronto organized by the municipal government, which placed 326 life-sized moose sculptures throughout the city and were decorated by local artists.

About the artist

Fraser Paterson was born in Bangor, Wales. He immigrated to Canada with his family when he was a small child. Throughout his formative years he displayed a passion for sculpture and painting, which eventually led him to study at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD University). During this time, he was accepted to participate in the off-campus program in Florence, Italy where he rediscovered his first love, sculpture.

Upon graduation, Paterson apprenticed for renowned Inuit sculptor David Ruben Piqtoukun, working on large scale stone installations and assisting with smaller stone projects. Fraser then spent six months working as an artist in residence in Provence, France at the Four Winds Atelier. Ursula Hanes, a well-known British sculptor had Fraser execute three large sculptures in limestone working from her maquettes while in France.

Upon his return from France he used his experience working on large-scale installations and stone carving to enter the world of props and set design for film and television. He created large sculptures for Paramount Pictures, eventually working as set designer and props builder for the Discovery Channel.

When working in stone Fraser draws inspiration from classical influences like Auguste Rodin and Constantin Brancusi. Fraser releases the female figure from raw alabaster using chisels, grinders and rasps. Devoid of heads and limbs, the translucent stone bodies with quartz veins running through them, resemble an archeological discovery. The stone appears to be revealing its ancient secrets to fresh eyes. When Fraser directs his creative energy to his cold rolled steel sculptures, he reveals a playful conceptual side. His sculpture deals with self image, self projection and relationships, employing metamorphosis, scale, and symbolism to deliver a question to his audience rather than an answer.

Fraser continues to participate in many gallery exhibitions and is currently working on a new series of work incorporating steel and stone in his figurative style.

Fun facts

  • Why are moose the muses of Toronto, when Chicago has Cows on Parade, Seattle has Pigs on Parade and Berlin has the Berliner Bär? Anyone asking might wonder why beavers were not the chosen ones, as a national symbol represented at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
  • Over 300 moose are exhibited throughout the city, referring to Moose in the City, a public art display in the year 2000 in Toronto, organized by the municipal government, to place 326 life-sized moose sculptures decorated by local artists.

Engagement questions

  • How does this work and its many counterparts make you feel?